Eye on Lithium: Afghanistan says ‘no’ to Chinese lithium investment
All your lithium news, Tuesday May 2.
The Taliban has said it is in no hurry to open up Afghanistan’s lithium resources to China.
China’s Gochin had reportedly offered to invest US$10bn in mining lithium and employing 120,000 people, both of which could play a critical role in reviving the country’s economy.
However, Arab News reported Ministry of Mines and Petroleum spokesman Hamayoon Afghan as saying that Afghanistan did not want to take “hurried steps and action in this regard”.
“It’s yet to be known when the contract will be signed and it’s not necessary for the contract to be signed only with China. We will consider our own benefits.”
While China could be interested in Afghanistan for potentially low cost lithium, the Taliban is clearly playing the long game and is reported to have received expressions of interest from a number of foreign companies in regards to investing in the country’s mining sector.
Concerns have also been raised about promises that lithium to China would be processed entirely in Afghanistan with some voicing scepticism that this would actually occur.
Lithium trended down with 59 companies in the red while just 33 made gains. Another 57 companies were unchanged as the market absorbed the RBA’s decision to increase rates by 25 basis points.
Here’s a selection of news out from lithium plays today.
The company has defined a maiden resource of 13.7Mt grading 553 parts per million (ppm) Li2O for its Madube Pan, or contained resources of 40,375t of lithium carbonate equivalent.
This also resulted in the increase in overall contained resources at the interpreted dyke structures from 286,909t LCE to 327,284t LCE.
Arcadia noted that drilling had noted a clear trend that grade increases at depth while cyclone test work has been carried out on Madube Pan samples to determine potential for grade increase.
The company added that the overall resource defined to date covers just two of 14 known pans in the Bitterwasser Pan District.
Coolabah is the latest ASX junior to snap up lithium ground in the popular James Bay region of Quebec, Canada, acquiring four properties covering 113km2 about 20km from Patriot Battery Metals’ (ASX:PMT, TSX-V:PMET) Corvette project.
These include the Carmoy project, which targets interpreted dyke structures about 15km along strike to the northwest of Corvette.
It also acquired a 70km2 project in neighbouring Ontario about 70km from Frontier Lithium’s 58.4Mt at 1.5% Li2O project.
Pilot plant test work at the University of Melbourne using Ekosolve direct lithium extraction technology has achieved 95.8% lithium extraction efficiency from brines sourced from C29 Metals’ Pocitos 7 project.
This is similar, and slightly better than previous brines tested from Pozuelos, Incahuasi and Pocitos salars with the company noting that it demonstrates that the extraction organic solvents have a good extractability for the lithium in the salt lake brine.
Lithium chloride produced using the process is now being processed to produce a battery-grade lithium carbonate product.
Drilling at Latin Resources’ Colina deposit has returned assays such as 18.21m grading 1.9% Li2O from 212.72m and 16.12m at 1.55% Li2O from 302.69m in hole SADD089 and 15.42m at 1.48% Li2O from 288.64m and 12.65m at 1.44% Li2O from 327.04m in hole SADD088.
These results show that continuous high-grade pegmatites persist to the southwest while the broader program has proven that the extensive pegmatite system at the Colina deposit remains open in all directions.
Latin believes that its resource definition drilling program is on track for the planned mid-May cut-off for the Colina resource update, which is looking to be fairly substantial.
Power Minerals has secured a $2.6m strategic investment from Fuyang Mingjin New Energy Development to accelerate development of its Argentinian lithium assets.
Lithium sector investor Mingjin, which is also invested in companies such as Octavis Minerals and Patagonia Lithium, will subscribed for 6.5 million shares in the company at a placement price of 40c each to raise the funds.
This will give it a 8.6% stake in the company.
Stelar has agreed to collaborate with SensOre, which has been granted NSW Government grant funding into lithium exploration research, to test new techniques at Stelar’s new Trident project in the state.
The two companies will use SensOre’s promising research to identify sources of economic lithium as part of a broader research program.
Trident, which was acquired by the company in February 2023, extends over the 15km long Euriowie Pegmatite Field that is prospective for hard-rock lithium mineralisation.
Mapped pegmatites vary in size but have been reported to be up to 100m wide and over 1km in length.
Highlighting the prospectivity of its Henderson nickel-lithium project, Venus Metals Corporation has signed a binding farm-in agreement with IGO.
Under the deal, IGO will acquire up to 70% in the project by incurring up to $4m in sole-funded exploration expenditure until the completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study and reimbursing Venus $1m for past costs.
Should IGO complete the PFS, it has the right to acquire Venus’ remaining 30% interest at a price based on fair market value less an apportioned aggregation of IGO’s expenditure incurred in relation to Henderson.